Ole Miss’ new Greek Fee creates funding for increased staffing

Posted on Sep 13 2018 - 5:50am by Meredith Enger

Greek-affiliated Ole Miss students are being charged a new semesterly $50 “Greek Fee” to provide funding for the Office of Fraternal Leadership and Learning.

“The Greek Fee will primarily provide a long-term funding model for the Office of Fraternal Leadership and Learning to support additional staff and to provide new programming to the entire Greek community,” Arthur E. Doctor Jr., director of Fraternal Leadership and Learning, said.

Doctor said his office has already fielded a number of calls this year regarding the use of the Greek Fee.

“New staff members will provide more educational trainings and opportunities to the many constituents associated with the community to ensure that Fraternal Leadership and Learning continues to enact the very values espoused in its name,” Doctor said.

New recruits receive their bids on Panhellenic’s Bid Day in 2017. File photo by Taylar Teel

The University of Mississippi has one of the largest Greek communities in the nation, with more than 40 percent of undergraduate students participating in Greek life. With a current staff of four employees, the Office of Fraternal Leadership and Learning serves over 7,000 students, including those in the College Panhellenic Association as well as the Interfraternity (IFC) and National Pan-Hellenic Councils.

The Greek Fee will support programming initiatives related to alcohol and other drug prevention, diversity and inclusion education, academic support, violence prevention, hazing prevention and leadership development, according to Doctor.

“The Greek Fee will financially support operations, programs and initiatives of the Office of Fraternal Leadership and Learning, which equates to approximately $300,000,” Doctor said.

This new fee was added to students’ bursar accounts based on rosters submitted by every chapter before the start of the semester. The fee is included with the students’ semester tuition and other expenses, according to the Fraternal Leadership and Learning website.

Gigi Smith, a Greek-affiliated integrated marketing communications major, said the $50 fee might not make a big dent in her budget, but she knows plenty of other Greek students who have a problem with it.

“(Panhellenic) said that the money is going towards a long-term fund to add new stuff and new programming to the entire Greek community,” Smith said. “I think that the money should go toward something that will benefit those who … (currently) participate in Greek life.”

As of Aug. 24, 1,452 women had registered for Panhellenic recruitment and 689 had registered for IFC recruitment, according to Doctor.

“Before the Greek Fee, the Office of Fraternal Leadership and Learning solely functioned from Panhellenic and IFC recruitment fees, as the office receives no other funding from the university,” said Ann Weston Sistrunk, president of College Panhellenic Executive Board. “The Greek Fee will allow the office to be more sustainable and will give money back to the councils to provide more programming and opportunities for (their) members.”

The recruitment registration fee can range anywhere from $175 to $225, depending on when the student registers, according to the Ole Miss Panhellenic website.

“The registration fee covers food during recruitment, T-shirt cost for the two shirts provided to (potential new members) during Greek Day and Philanthropy Round, required educational programming sessions, convocation speaker, recruitment supplies and Panhellenic programming efforts through the year,” Sistrunk said. “We are now able to keep all of our recruitment registration fees and use (them) to support our efforts to better the Panhellenic community and continue to fund recruitment.”

If students are no longer involved in a Greek organization but were charged the fee in error, they should first contact the Office of Fraternal Leadership and Learning to have the fee removed from their bursar accounts. Next, they should contact the chapter president of their former chapter to have their name removed from the roster.

For more information about the Greek Fee, call the Office of Fraternal Leadership and Learning at 662-915-7609 or email greeks@olemiss.edu.